Baby’s Bathwater

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Contributor: Todd Mercer

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Do not fold, spindle, tear or mutilate
my belief in basic human goodness
if we have a chance to make decisions
on behalf of the public population.
Don’t set it ablaze, even if you’re
only following orders. Being an employee
doesn’t absolve one of moral weight.
Do not gas, bomb, flood or starve out
my core faith in other people. It’s well
and good that we believe empathy
can stage a comeback out there.
Don’t evict the central tenets
of a rusted idealist. A lover
of imperfect human beings,
who knows the score, who can see
the situation; but loves them anyway.

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Todd Mercer was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in Fiction in 2019 and the Best of the Net in Poetry in 2018. Recent work appears in The Lake, Dunes Review and The Museum of Americana.


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